The journey of an opera singer can be complicated and challenging and almost impossible for those outside the operatic world – let’s say standing in the wings observing - to even comprehend.
Operas come in all languages so your years of training include learning languages.
Operas by definition are completely sung – as opposed to a musical which is spoken word and singing combined – making them harder to learn and harder to practise.
And then the roles you play as an opera singer are written for a particular vocal range but as your voice develops, the coaches and mentors around you might suggest changing your focus, and target roles in a different voice type meaning much of the training starts again!
And this has been the part of the journey of Morgan Carter, recipient of the 2022 Brian Boak Outstanding Performer Bursary.
“During my vocal development there was a lot of confusion regarding my voice,” Morgan explains. “I believe the reason a lot of people were confused about my fach (voice) is because of a combination of my huge range - just over 3 and a half octaves - and the richness and darker qualities that I carry in my voice.”
Morgan Carter is an award winning British/Australian Soprano. Morgan holds a Bachelor of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where they were the recipient of two scholarships for performance excellence. Morgan’s roles to date have included roles and chorus credits in many well known operas including Carmen, Tosca, Aida, and Madama Butterfly
The Empire Theatres Brian Boak Bursary program was made possible through the generosity of the late Mr Brian Boak who was an outstanding supporter of the local performing arts.
The Brian Boak Bursary is designed to provide support to a person wishing to pursue a program of study or professional development at a recognised university, specialist post-secondary institution or other centre of excellence in the areas of acting, dancing, singing or instrumental performance.
And Morgan will be using the Brian Boak Bursary towards costs to undertake an intense one year Master of Music in Opera Performance at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester beginning this September.
With COVID cancelling many performances over the past two years – Morgan has been involved in seven cancelled shows – Morgan knew the time was right was to further their training and is truly honoured to be awarded the Brian Boak Bursary.
Furthermore, Morgan is a proud member of the Trans community and identifies as transgender non-binary and uses they/them pronouns in all professional documents and correspondence.
“I believe - if I'm not mistaken - I am the first South Australian and the first Non-Binary artist to be granted the Brian Boak Bursary.”
And with opera singers voices coming into the peak of their vocal maturity from the age of 35 onwards, Morgan still has 10 years of honing her craft.
“In ten years I'll be 35 and just hitting the start of what I hope will be an illustrious career as a dramatic soprano across all the world's stages!”
And the perfect role?
“I covered Amneris in a touring production of Aida in China when I was a mezzo and fell in love with the gorgeous, grandiose orchestral music,” Morgan said. “So now I'm leaning more into dramatic soprano repertoire, Aida seems like the ultimate role for me.”
The Empire Theatres Foundation is proudly supported by Bernoth Properties, Dornbusch Partners, Downlands College, Greenridge Group, Horizon Accounting, Glifford Gouldson Lawyers and Wearing Memories.
For more information regarding the Bursary and previous recipients, visit the Support Us page at www.empiretheatre.com.au.